Planet Earth is usually self-correcting and adjusting. Often cities, as heat islands, get really warm and then cause thunderstorms that cool them down. California has been in a drought situation and the Northeast got slammed with a blizzard last year — a blizzard with so much snow that in June one collected snow pile still existed.
Now it appears California is in for a massive, continual rain storm and the Northeast is going to be pretty dry.
Digging into that Los Angeles Times story, there is this bit:
The last record El Niño that ended in 1998 was quickly followed by the arrival of El Niño’s dry sister, La Niña.
“Thinking ahead one year, could we be whiplashed from deluge back to drought again?” Patzert said. “Because remember, La Niña is the diva of drought.”
Patzert said that in the last 140 years in California, seven out of every 10 years are dry, so it would be foolish to declare an end to water conservation during this winter’s rains.
Now, reading that and knowing just how dry California has been, I would think sane people would start building some new reservoirs to collect all the rain they are going to get. For perspective, from the article about the last El Niño:
Downtown L.A. got about a year’s worth of rain in February alone.…
“If you look at the really big El Niños, that’s ’82-’83 and ’97-’98, essentially the whole state got hosed, from north to south,” Patzert said. “For instance, Northern California, Sacramento, got almost double the rainfall, and we certainly got double here in L.A.”
The current El Niño is shaping up to be the largest ever recorded.
When Governor Jerry Brown’s father was Governor, California began construction on a series of massive reservoirs. The late Governor Pat Brown predicted that there would be a massive population increase in California and the state would need lots more water. As Victor Davis Hanson has noted, environmentalists along with guys like Jerry Brown began suing California and otherwise working to block the building of new reservoirs.
Given what is coming to California, it would be worth the state’s time to build new reservoirs. But the state will instead continue to impose ever more demanding conservation measures and will turn to extremely expensive reverse osmosis systems that make ocean water drinkable.
Reservoirs are a common sense solution, which means they will not happen in California.